Kuaishou to Give Asian IPOs Best Start to a Year Since 2010

The world’s biggest internet initial public offering since Uber Technologies Inc. is set to make this the best start to a year for stock listings in Asia since 2010.

Kuaishou Technology’s Hong Kong IPO of as much as $5.4 billion will push the amount raised through first-time share sales in the region in 2021 to $9.93 billion, the most for a January month in 11 years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Almost $11 billion was raised in January 2010.

The bumper start comes against a backdrop of ebullient regional markets that continue to hit records amid a flood of liquidity from central banks trying to stave off the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Kuaishou to Give Asian IPOs Best Start to a Year Since 2010

The continuing boom in Asia share listings follows on from the trend seen last year globally, where investors piled into offerings in search for returns, sending company valuations soaring on their debuts. Globally, IPOs are having their best start to the year on record, driven predominantly by listings in the U.S. which account for 85% of proceeds worldwide, Bloomberg-compiled data show.

Blank check companies are continuing their fundraising spree from last year, with almost $24 billion raised in the U.S. so far. That represents 66% of the money fetched from first-time share sales globally. The blank check IPOs are spreading to Asia too, with many eyeing assets in the region.

The latest was a $260 million IPO by Bridgetown 2 Holdings Ltd., a special purpose acquisition company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, that is targeting businesses in the technology, financial services or media sectors in Southeast Asia.

Kuaishou, the operator of China’s most popular video service after ByteDance Ltd.’s Douyin, appears to have picked the right time to go public. The Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed startup will stop taking orders from institutional investors two days earlier than planned, a sign of very strong investor demand. It has already reserved around 45% of the shares it is offering for high-profile cornerstone investors.

Earlier IPOs have also proved popular with investors, particularly mom and pop buyers. Health-care technology company Yidu Tech Inc. soared 148% on its debut this month after retail investors put in orders for 1,634 times the shares initially made available to them.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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